Water is a precious commodity. So precious that we cannot live without it. That is why it is hard to believe that we humans, in the name of progress and development, have indiscriminately polluted water so much so that it has now become a health hazard. In the United States, water pollution has almost become an epidemic. Polluted water has reached our homes and affecting communities at large. Remember the movie “Erin Brockovich”? That is how bad the situation is in some parts of the country, and yet we remain unaware and ignorant. Despite the steps that have been taken to control the situation, things are still far from satisfactory.
Florida, known for its golden beaches and blue waters, is one of the most polluted states, in terms of water contamination. Thousands of tourists visit the state all year round completely oblivious to the fact that they are playing with danger. Water contamination in Florida has now reached such levels that it is impacting the people at large.
7 Surprising Facts About Water Contamination In Florida
1. 10th Place In Water Pollution – In a report titled “Troubled Waters”, Florida ranks 10th for rampant illegal water pollution incidents. For a state which is frequented by tourists because of the waters itself, this statistic is appalling. According to Jaclyn Lopez, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, the corporate polluters were in violation of the federal rules at least 270 times in the last 21 months. Of the samples taken almost half had twice the legal limit of pollutants.
2. Water Pollution Causes To Algal Blooms – Algal blooms appear to be a normal occurrence without any cause for panic. But the fact remains that red algal blooms are indeed deadly for marine life. Due to water contamination in Florida, the algal blooms have resulted in a severe decline in the shellfish population. As such, many fishermen have been rendered jobless.
3. One-Fourth Beaches Closed Every Year – Including Florida, and many other coastal areas of the USA, each year around 1/4th of the beaches are shut because of water contamination. Closing the beaches is a big step as it affects the economy. Jobs are hit because tourism suffers; in turn, the quality of life is also adversely impacted.
4. Lake Okeechobee Heavily Polluted – Lake Okeechobee is one of the largest lakes in Florida. Unfortunately, it is also the most polluted because chemicals and fertilizers are being dumped into the lake unceremoniously for years. The culprits are the factories and industries located in that area.
5. Sewage Treatment Plants Need Upgrading – A major contaminant in water pollution is sewage. Florida’s sewage treatment plants need major upgrading so that they are able to counter the situation more efficiently.
6. Groundwater Diminishing – Studies have shown that there has been a drastic decline in the groundwater in Florida. Therefore, the state has been forced to look at alternate sources for meeting the demand. It has become all the more necessary to keep sewage, fertilizers, and chemicals out of public waters.
7. Big Companies Biggest Culprits – The real culprits are the big companies who choose to hide their misdeeds behind a heavy curtain of dollars. Finding loopholes in the regulations to get out of their environmental duty has become the norm. Stringent laws with stricter punishment are the only way to control the already worsening situation.
How Can You Help
It is not always the duty of the state or the government to take care of everything. Sometimes small steps from your side go a long way in saving the day. You all live in air-conditioned homes. Have you ever thought of recycling the water which AC produces? Although this water is not potable, there are plenty of uses that it can actually be put to. It will not only reduce your water consumption but in areas, with water shortage, it will provide a secondary source for many activities.
Uses For AC Water
There are many ways in which you can use the AC water. The easiest ones are –
1. Water For Plants – The water released by the AC drain pipe can be collected and used to water the plants. You can use it for irrigating your lawn, vegetable garden, and potted plants. Since this water is free of chlorine, it does not harm your plants in any manner.
2. Cleaning – You can use the AC water for washing and cleaning the doors and windows of the house, car, patio furniture, and any other similar item. Again, no element of this water will harm any equipment that needs cleaning. So instead of throwing it away or letting it run into the ground, put it to some good use.
3. Water Feature – You can even source a small water feature like a fountain, pond, or a small trickling waterfall with the AC water. It will add to the beauty of your surroundings and make your home feel more peaceful and restful.
Benefit Of Using AC Water
During hot summer months, there is a paucity of water. The water bill increases considerably to discourage people from wasting it. Even at such times, our air conditioners run continuously producing condensate. This condensate can provide water for the necessary activities which do not require fresh water. This way, you will be able to manage your water requirements more efficiently and at the same time, not break any laws through wasteful management.
The condensate water from the Air Conditioner is not fit for drinking. But that does not mean that it has no other use. Because the AC condensate is neutral, it can be put to all those uses were maintaining the pH balance is not necessary. In times when water pollution is indeed a cause for concern, your AC is giving you a source of water which is relatively clean. So, starting today, instead of letting it go waste, put it to some use. Recycling AC condensate and fixing water dripping from Split AC Indoor unit is a foot forward in the right direction.